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Police, Fire, & Ambulance Dispatchers

Also called: Dispatcher, Communications Operator, Public Safety Dispatcher, Communications Officer

Where in the Air Force? In the Air Force: Security Forces; Security Forces Apprentice; Security Forces Apprentice, Combat Arms; Security Forces Apprentice, Military Working Dog Handler; Security Forces Craftsman; Security Forces Helper, Combat Arms; Security Forces Helper, Military Working Dog Handler; Security Forces Journeyman; Security Forces Journeyman, Combat Arms; Security Forces Journeyman, Military Working Dog Handler

What they do:
Operate radio, telephone, or computer equipment at emergency response centers. Receive reports from the public of crimes, disturbances, fires, and medical or police emergencies. Relay information to law enforcement and emergency response personnel. May maintain contact with caller until responders arrive.
On the job, you would:
  • Question callers to determine their locations, and the nature of their problems to determine type of response needed.
  • Receive incoming telephone or alarm system calls regarding emergency and non-emergency police and fire service, emergency ambulance service, information and after hours calls for departments within a city.
  • Determine response requirements and relative priorities of situations, and dispatch units in accordance with established procedures.

Knowledge

Business
  • customer service
  • administrative services
Communications
  • telecommunications
  • multimedia
Safety and Government
  • public safety and security
  • law and government
Arts and Humanities
  • English language

Skills

Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • talking to others
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Social
  • changing what is done based on other people's actions
  • looking for ways to help people

Abilities

Verbal
  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Attention
  • pay attention to something without being distracted
  • do two or more things at the same time
Ideas and Logic
  • order or arrange things
  • notice when problems happen
Visual Understanding
  • quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things

Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Self Control
  • Dependability
  • Integrity
  • Attention to Detail
  • Concern for Others

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Data base user interface and query software
  • 911 system information databases
  • Law enforcement information databases
Helpdesk or call center software
  • Computer aided dispatch CAD software
  • Spillman Technologies Spillman Computer-Aided Dispatch CAD
Word processing software
  • Corel WordPerfect software
  • Microsoft Word

Education

Education: (rated 2 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
some college
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Find Certifications Registered Apprenticeship

Job Outlook

Average Outlook
New job opportunities are likely in the future.
Salary
$37,040
per year, on average
Check out my state Local Salary Info Find Jobs

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See more details at O*NET OnLine about police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers.